Friday, March 12, 2010

First Things First

Hello from an airplane. I'm inbound to New York City. I wanted to write some about my intentions and ideas about the next few months.

There's this one question that nobody asks me: why are you leaving?

This isn't surprising. Travel is a compelling thing. I've worked enough over the last few years to comfortably justify a good long time off in faraway places. I have no particular attachments that would obligate me to stay in any particular place. You're young, people say, this is the perfect time to do it. Soon you'll be married and have kids and a house and you won't be able to do it.

It's not quite that simple. But let me digress for a moment.

One thing I hear a lot is it will change you so much.

I agree. It's an experience fully intended to challenge and galvanize, strip away preconceived notions and comfortable stereotypes. But it won't change my life - that's already happened. I wouldn't be sitting here, writing this, if the bedrock of my life wasn't significantly and permanently shifted. And even then - let's admit to the possibility that I always felt this way and it is my perceptions that changed. Put another way, I'm not doing this because I want to. I'm doing it because it's the only natural thing for me to do.

So, off I go. To wander, to feel some freedom. To have some fun, of course, but also to be an artist and create work that I find authentic. It's not a story about a break from my normal life, it is my normal life. I don't want this to be the time to do this, I want every day to be that time.

Many of you who know me will know how many times I've said this in the past few months - the trappings of material wealth and middle-class stability have brought me not an ounce of happiness. Money spent on time with friends and family, travelling and eating and drinking and screwing around has been worth every penny.

Hence the title. There won't be a beginning and an end. Only, another day, another place, another story.

At least that's the intention. And I know it all sounds a little ridiculous, a little adolescent. But the proof will be in the telling, in the process. You'll see.

So, rather than recounting every detail and showing you a hundred pictures of the white guy in foreign lands, I'll try to make this a story about an experience happening through my eyes. I would like to share that, as much as I can.